COVID-19 Workplace Safety, Health Rules Become Permanent Wednesday


By Sydney Lake, Virginia Business

Permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health rules take effect Wednesday in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam announced, including standards that require all public-facing employees to wear masks as well as requiring businesses to provide ready access to hand sanitizer and regular common workspace cleaning.

The rules range from appropriate personal protective equipment to sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans to record keeping, training, and hazard communications in Virginia workplaces. It also includes include guidelines for returning to work and communicating about employees who test positive and potential exposures. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry will enforce the permanent standard.

“While the end of this pandemic is finally in sight, the virus is still spreading, including several highly contagious variants, and now is not the time to let up on preventative measures,” Northam said in a statement. “I am grateful to the many businesses and organizations who have been with us throughout this process and continue to take the necessary steps to operate safely. These standards will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and protect the health and safety of Virginia workers, consumers, and communities as we move our commonwealth forward together.”


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